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Question: Is it better to have four chefs cook one dish, or one chef cook four? You may be wondering how a question like this is relevant to a discussion on integrated campaigns, but you’d be surprised at how much the two relate. At first, more hands and brains in the kitchen may seem like a good thing – suggesting a stronger end product. However, more times than not, this results in unclear communication, poor collaboration, a lack of consistency, and ultimately, a less appetizing dish. My point: sometimes more isn’t better. Campaigns handled by one agency vs. multiple Just like having too many chefs in one kitchen can be problematic, hiring multiple agencies to execute a single campaign can make things just as messy. Too many seats at the table can result in divided messaging, less effective outreach, and unnecessary confusion. By having your campaign executed under one roof (think single agencies that provide multiple services), you’ll be able to save money, maintain a consistent brand voice, and hopefully sleep better at night knowing that you’ll only have one point of contact managing all your campaign needs. Here are three reasons why integrated campaigns are the way to go:

1. Better ROI

Have you ever wondered what your money is actually being spent on? One of the biggest issues that arise when working with multiple agencies is not being able to effectively measure your return on investment. How can you manage your costs if you don’t know – or worse, don’t understand — what your money is being used for? Working with an all-in-one agency allows you to better trace where your money is going and thus better measure your return on investment, making it easier to make business decisions on what’s working and what isn’t. The other added bonus: most all-in-one agencies charge less for their services than their traditional counterparts. Something to think about!

2. Consistency

There are many aspects to a campaign (creative, social, PR etc.). When different parts of a campaign are broken up and handed off to different teams under different roofs, maintaining a consistent brand voice and a consistent message can prove to be an issue. Integrated campaigns provide the comfort in knowing that all aspects of the campaign process are being executed with one vision in mind, by one team, making it easier to ensure a consistent brand voice throughout all channels.

3. Less Risky

The problem with having six chefs create one dish is that, in the end – due to a possible lack of communication and organization – the final product might not turn out that well. In a restaurant, that might only result in one angry customer, but for you – a business owner – that could cost you thousands of dollars, money you can’t afford to lose. The true benefit of investing in an integrated campaign is that the likelihood of failure is low. Having a campaign executed under one roof increases the chances of clearer communication among those working on the campaign, a better understanding of campaign goals, and a smoother execution.

The main takeaway

One agency is enough. The need to have multiple partners work on a single project not only makes things complicated, it also takes away an unnecessary amount of money from your pockets. Working with agencies that provide multiple services under one roof enables you to be in the loop of communication without being overwhelmed by too many points of contact. So, let’s go back to the initial question: If you had the option to have four chefs cook one dish, or one chef cook four, which would you choose? My humble guess: The option that’s more likely to put out the best food in a timely manner. And chances are, that’s probably option two.   Author, Nesh Pillay, Vice President of Marketing at EQ Works and Founder, Press Pillay  Twitter:  @PillayNesh                  

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